The two American hikers back home from Iran today said Iran held them because they are American, the AP reports. Joshua Fattal said that while he and fellow hiker Shane Bauer "applaud Iranian authorities for finally making the right decision," they "do not deserve undue credit for ending what they had no right and no justification to start in the first place." Fattal added that Iran "always tied our case to its political disputes with the US."
Their 2-year detention was "never about crossing the unmarked border between Iran and Iraq" while hiking in 2009, Bauer said. Had they crossed the border? "We will probably never know." The irony, he said, is that the hikers "oppose US policies towards Iran which perpetuate this hostility." Taking no questions, they described the horrors of prison life and the surprise of their return home. Fattal described the days after their release as "the most incredible experience of our lives." (Read more hikers Iran stories.)